Emotional abuse usually takes place in private, meaning there are no witnesses validating your experience. After months or years of being emotionally abused, you begin to distrust your perceptions and even your sanity. Since you have invested your time and your heart in the relationship and your world revolves around him / her, you end up making excuses or downplaying the impact of the abuser’s behaviors.
While physical abuse is easy to recognize, emotional abuse can be less obvious. The scars left may not be visible to the eye, but doesn’t mean they’re any less painful. It’s crucial for family members and friends to know what to look for.
An abusive partner may criticize, insult, blame, belittle, withhold affection, threaten, gaslight, humiliate or stonewall in order to gain / maintain power and control in the relationship. They may even exercise control over your money, where you go, how you dress and whom you associate with.
In an article published by HuffPost, relationship experts shared seven toxic habits of emotionally abusive partners :
- they refuse to take responsibility for their actions and find ways to blame you for anything that goes wrong instead
- at first, they may try to appear loving and attentive to rope you in, but it doesn’t last long
- they undermine your strengths and minimize your accomplishments
- they lash out when you disagree with them
- they make excuses for their destructive behavior
- they isolate you from your family and friends so you become completely dependent on them
- they put unrealistic expectations on you and the relationship